Arts groups are lobbying New Forest District Council to save a former sports and social club owned by oil refinery operator Esso from being demolished to make way for a new sports pavilion and community garden. Situated on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, the club was home to the only large theatre space in the area and used by community groups including the musical society, the Waterside Theatre Company and dance schools. It was home to film showings, plays, musicals, pantomimes and concerts.
Christine Talbot, musical director of the Waterside Musical Society, said: "This could be the only chance the area will get to replace and develop a theatre venue. I am asking that NFDC reject the current application and ask for an amended one, showing how the current cultural facility is to be replaced.”